Monday, 31 August 2009

Age and getting on with people

On Facebook, I have 145 contacts at the moment. I don't refer to them as friends, because some of them are people I have never met, or did know in the past, but haven't seen for many years. My eldest contact is an NT but left-handed (my dad is also NT but left-handed) uncle, born on Sunday 12th November 1944. The youngest is a female named Sam from Scotland, born on Sunday 13th February 1994, who is on the Autistic Spectrum. A difference of 49 years, 3 months and 1 day.

For some reason or other, I seem to get on with, and relate to, people older or younger than myself, better than my own age group. With a few exceptions, I've always struggled to strike up rapports, and establish friendships with those my own age. This was evident in Secondary School, and is still to this very day, though matters in this area have slightly improved over the years. I don't know whether this factor is because of my Asperger's, or simply my personality? Do Aspies find it hard to get on with those their own age? Do Aspies get on with people who are older or younger than them better than their own peer groups? I don't know.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Cut out the crap and save on money and trees

I've just gone a week without reading a single national newspaper and I don't think I will ever bother buying a national newspaper again. I prefer to read the news on either the Internet, Teletext or listen to the TV news. You may think I am becoming ignorant. No, I am not. Ignorance is a terrible sin. However, the national newspapers are full of shit. Besides, I am trying to save trees! Someone once told me I don't read fiction. I replied, "Yes I do, I read the Daily Mail, The Sun and Daily Mirror each and every day!".

With the Internet, Teletext or TV news, there is less sensationalism, less bias and more truth and honesty. I didn't realise how little I would miss national newspapers until I stopped this last week. I also have access to the "Times" newspaper from 1785-1985, and national newspapers from 1986 to the present day, so I can go on there and read them. I could at home, also manage without a Television, if I had to. I couldn't manage without my music system, my PC, or my MP3 player. I regard those as essentials. For me, the Internet is a connection to the outside world.

My local newspaper has printed this month the A-level and GCSE (O-level in old money) results of students. Personally I don't know why they bother. I think one's exam results are a private matter, not for everybody to read.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Money can't buy me love....

Usually, when told that a man is seeking a woman, or vice versa (or if a man is homosexual or a woman is a lesbian), I wish them all the best, and inform them that I hope they succeed in achieving their hearts desires. If told about two people who have got together in a relationship, unless I dislike either or both individuals involved, I say something like, "Well I am pleased, I hope it goes off well for you".

Yesterday, Friday, I read about someone's quest for a relationship. When I finished reading, my immediate thought was that I either hoped her quest fails, or she meets a man in the category she is desiring, who turns out to be an absolute bastard to her.

You may say, "You rotten sod. You are full of bitterness and spite", or you may ask, "How can you wish that on someone?". I generally don't, but last night there was a reality TV programme on tonight called "How to snare a millionaire", in which a 28-year-old woman went to all lengths so she could fall in love with a millionaire.

Certainly, having financial wealth helps in life. I wouldn't turn down the chance of being a millionaire if offered. It definitely would remove all one's financial worries, but you need more than being a millionaire to make a relationship work. What a sad and shallow person the participant of this programme must be, if this is how she thinks she will find happiness.

Friday, 28 August 2009

They are dead - get over it

Now they are saying that Michael Jackson is alive and faked his death. He is currently living in a street in South Africa. Other residents include Elvis Presley, Lord Lucan, Madeline McCann, Hitler, Princess Diana and the crew who were on the Mary Celeste. They also keep a pet horse named Shergar.

This could potentially evolve into an Elvis Presley scenario, with stickers saying "Jacko served me in Burger King" or "I saw Jacko in my Job centre", or they'll be saying that Jackson is living in a two-bedroomed council flat in Moss Side. Or if he turns to crime, and gets arrested, the Police could ask Jackson why he did it. He would then sing, "Cos I'm bad, I'm bad". As sad as it is, he's dead. Get over it. I can't see why he would fake his death with a lucrative UK tour on the horizon. Jackson didn't fake his death when he was on trial for child abuse cases did he? The notion that he was murdered is more credible than him being alive.

When Princess Diana died, 12 years ago this coming Monday, numerous theories abounded about what had happened. MI5 were behind it. Prince Philip was behind it. The Queen was behind it. She faked her own death to escape the intense glare of the media and paparazzi. It was a plot to fake her death, but it went wrong and she was killed. The secret service intended to kill Dodi Fayed and leave Diana unharmed, but both were killed instead.

I have a new theory. Elton John had Princess Diana murdered. Think about it. He wasn't selling many records at the time and he'd blown all that money on flowers. She dies, he sings at her funeral at Westminster Abbey. His "Candle in the wind '97" was the biggest selling song of all time, his career took off again, and he got a knighthood four months later.

I need sectioning? Well, that theory is as credible as some of the other wilder theories that have abounded since then, notably that she faked her death and is still alive, or it was an attempt to fake her death that went wrong. So the exponents of those theories should be in the beds next to me if I want sectioning. I wouldn't be surprised if she was murdered, but nothing has been proved to this day, and until someone can prove it, leave it at that, and let her rest in peace.

I suppose these stories about dead celebrities keep conspiracy theorists and authors away from the job centre, and in work.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Counselling can produce a nation of wimps

When anyone has been through a difficult, stressful or traumatic experience in life, such as severe bullying at school, child abuse, incest, sexual abuse, rape, a parent or parents or sibling has been murdered or killed in a plane crash, I am all in favour of anyone counselling being given, or at least offered. It can help the individual to come to terms with the event or events, and also to begin to move on with their life. Counselling can help, as you have someone to share your problems with, or a shoulder to cry on, as they say.

However, they seem to do overdo it with both the counselling and compensation aspects of life these days, and offer it, or provide it for the slightest thing. For example, children often receive counselling and therapy because a Teacher or another pupil has died. As sad as that is, children have to learn that death is an unwelcome, though natural part of life.

Yes it is tragic when most children die, but then it is equally tragic when most people die who are young. If any pupil or Teacher had died when I was at Secondary School, I wouldn't have sought or needed counselling. I definitely wouldn't have sought or needed it if had been someone who I disliked, or didn't know. Yes, we are all different, and we react to experiences in a different manner, but to provide counselling over a Teacher's death?

I remember in late March 1987, when I was in the final year at Junior school, a Teacher of ours, though she wasn't a class Teacher of mine, was murdered by her dad at home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. He also murdered her mother. Her dad must have either been an extremely violent person, or he must have freaked out, for some reason or other. Very sad obviously.

For this tragic event, none of us pupils were provided with or offered counselling. Instead, when Calendar TV spoke to Mr Best outside school, the only counselling we were given was to keep away from the class windows and to stop looking.

When two Secondary School Teachers died (A lot of pupils went to his funeral. I wasn't one of them), we weren't given or offered counselling or therapy. We just got on with it. How did pupils cope 30, 40 or 50 years ago when another pupil or Teacher died? They just got on with it and grieved in their own way. Was counselling offered in World War I or World War II to civilians or those who fought. No, but they needed it much more than what is offered for some events which occur nowadays.

Similarly, when someone has been slightly injured in a car crash or someone has gone into the back of their car. Unpleasant yes, but a cause for counselling? In June 1997 I was slightly injured in a car crash. I was thrown forward and banged my forehead on the dashboard. The car was a write-off. I didn't ask for or seek counselling. Neither was I offered it. Nowadays I would probably would have been given it - mandatorily. You hear about counselling been offered or provided for dogbites, or relationship break-ups. Where is it going to stop for comparatively trivial matters? Will counselling be offered soon because someone has missed a bus, or has had a powercut, or because their football team has been relegated?

The compensation culture is something that also needs to be look at. Common sense needs to be applied with cases of suing. It has reached a pitch now that, I wouldn't be surprised to read that, Mr Law will be sued by William Rit, because Mr Law started at W.Rit. However, W.Rit then countersues Mr Law because of the emotional stress of being sued!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

There's nothing straightforward in this life

Describing someone as a complex character is meaningless because all human beings are complex, contradictory characters. It is that some are more than others, and some are better at being complex and contradictory than others, but we are all complex.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

My own heaven and hell

I don't believe in God, but whether there is an afterlife or not, I don't know. I certainly don't believe in Heaven or the Elysian fields after we die. You find out when your time comes. I have big doubts myself. Some say that we have our heaven and hell on earth. Whilst I wouldn't 100% subscribe to that view, I can't help but feel that there is more than a ring of truth about it.

My idea of heaven on earth is made up of several situations that I have been in, as is my idea of hell on earth. Amongst my "Heaven on Earth" situations are....
(A) Myself being alone in a massive public library all day, reading numerous books
on subject or topics which interest me.
(B) Myself looking through a huge archive of weather records with the actual
weather written in for the day, along with the details such as temperature,
sunshine, rainfall and wind direction etc.
(C) Being at a place of vast interest and where there is plenty to see and do,
such as Cambridge or York. Similarly, such holiday resorts like either Rome,
(I have never been though), with the history and architecture, or Orlando (I have
been there - twice, with my family).
(D) Being sat alone using the Internet without being disturbed or pestered. The
Internet is definitely addictive in my opinion. There is a danger in life I
could end up being two things. One, an Internet addict, and two, a recluse.
I have to fight very hard against both.
(E) Being in the open air, or places with dramatic landscapes, such as the
Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and Snowdon, though I gave that hobby up over
ten years ago, with clear weather.
(F) Although I am (1) A genuine, natural loner, (2) Deep down, quite a shy man,
(Though I try very hard not to be), (3) I could end up being a recluse,
(4) I don't have that many real friends and (5) I don't make friends easily
with people, another heaven situation is being in company where it is a
free-flowing, serious, mentally stimulating conversation, and everyone
is respecting each others views. I like being alone two-thirds of the time. The
other third I like company. At times I feel sociable, and other times I don't
care if I neither see or speak to anyone. That is me.
(G) Watching DVD's of programmes, documentaries or sitcoms which interest me.

Hell situations for me are:
(A) Having to interact with loads of people at once. I hate such situations. They
mentally overload me, and when I have come away from those kind of events, I
feel drained and exhausted. I avoid them.
(B) Being accused of something I haven't done falsely or something I am not. If I
have done wrong in the past, or do in the present, and am caught for it, I
will admit it, and take my punishment. However, I will never admit to something
I haven't done or said, whether it is now or occurred years ago.
(C) Being late for anything, and others being late for something without telling me
or without good reason.
(D) Being bored stupid. This applies whether it is talking to or listening to a dull,
uninteresting person, or spending two weeks at a boring holiday resort in the UK
such as Rhyll or Bridlington. I find it hard to excel at, or be motivated at, a
subject which doesn't interest me than when I enjoy, or excel at a subject.
(E) Being poor, although I am not an over materialistic person.
(F) Doing a job I can't stand, and working with/or for people I don't like or get on
with, or one with too many people around me, or in a noisy environment.
(G) Being in trapped in a relationship that isn't working, or being dominated.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Birthdays and learning...

It's my birthday today, (Thursday 20th August 2009). I came into the world 33 years ago at 10.05am GMT, weighing seven pounds, five ounces. For my birthday I have got six T-shirts, aftershave, razor and foam (The only time I have ever had a beard in my life was between Friday 28th February 1997 and Monday 1st September 1997. I shaved it off the day after Princess Diana died), £30 and ten cards. Interestingly, I have had five cards from friends, and five from family members, and an happy birthday text from my two cousins, who were born in April 1994 and September 1996. The family members I am closest to have sent me cards.

I don't like a fuss generally with anything, including birthdays. When I turned 30 in August 2006, my mum offered to put a big bash on. I declined that offer. If I am still here on my 40th, or 50th or 70th birthdays, and relatives, or others who know it is my birthday, put a photograph of me in the local newspaper when I was very young, I wouldn't be angry with them, but I would remark that I would have preferred it if they hadn't done so.

I haven't arranged or organised anything special for my birthday this year, but it is not a milestone birthday, like my 18th was, or my 21st or my 30th. I am seven years away from my 40th. This may sound strange to a lot of people, but I enjoyed my 30th birthday a great deal more than either my 18th or 21st.

Why, you may ask. Why did you enjoy a birthday when you were older? Eighteen and twenty-one? You were in the prime of your life. You should have been out there in nightclubs, chatting in women up, and being the life and soul of every party you went to. That is maybe you. What other people do and don't do is a matter for them. I didn't enjoy those two birthdays, but my 30th birthday I did.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that in August 1994, I hadn't heard of AS, and in August 1997, I didn't know that I had it, and at those stages of my life, I didn't really know who or what I was. This feeling of greater self-contentment didn't just come to being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and with it a greater level of self-awareness though. I just have felt, as a person, more content with myself as I have got older. I know what situations I feel comfortable and uncomfortable with, and I no longer push myself, or try to be who or what I am not.

When it comes to learning, I always learn better when I teach myself how to do things, as opposed to other people formally learning me, mainly because they can either go too fast for me to process information at their rate, or because my mind and learning is ahead of theirs.

I prefer it when not many people are around me when I am learning, so I can concentrate on what I am doing, not on socialisation and interaction. The environment has to be correct for me to progress well, though as said, apart from reading and writing, a lot of my skills, such as being able to touch-type at 70 words per minute, and being able to speed-read, and read upside down and information what I know, is self-taught.

Talking of learning, the A-level results are out today. The usual suspects will be wheeled out to claim that the exams are getting easier, and that grades are being inflated since "Their day". They probably are, but "their day" was a long time ago. You may have read in early June this year I heard a woman being asked over her mobile phone what "Cynical" means. Her daughter will have finished the first year of her A-level English Language course now. This provides evidence to back up the claims of the cynics!

However, whether the grades are being inflated or not, and there is evidence to back up claims that they are, and that they are not, I would like to congratulate any student who has worked hard to obtain the grades they require to go to University. Well done, and best wishes for the future.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Where to go and not to go in the UK

If you have money to spend, and want reliable and consistent warm weather for your summer holiday, you would be advised to go abroad, say to Spain or the Mediterranean, or Florida, where you are guaranteed, dry, warm/hot and sunny weather, rather than holiday in the UK, where the weather, but all year round, 52 weeks a year, is notoriously unpredictable. This summer has so far shown the variety which the UK weather can serve up. June was mixed, with fine, dry and sunny weather during the final ten days. July was unsettled and very wet after the 5th. August so far has been a fine, dry and sunny month, even if there hasn't been any heatwave or outstandingly high temperatures.

I remember many years ago, (I think it was in 1989), expressing puzzlement when told that someone I knew slightly was going to Liverpool for an holiday. I questioned, "An holiday?". The person I was talking to answered, "I know, I thought exactly the same". However, I can now understand why they did go to Liverpool on holiday. For holidays in the UK, I would rather spend a week at places such as London, Cambridge, York, (A place I have a love affair with) or the Lake District, or the Scottish highlands, than a week at seaside restorts such as Rhyll, Bridlington, Filey or Cleethorpes.

I don't mind Great Yarmouth, Scarborough, Skegness or Whitby, but I would only visit those places for a weekend or short break, as I would get bored after a week. When I do go on holiday, I prefer places where there are sights to see and things to do. An interesting inland holiday applies to me more than graveyard-on-sea. That applies whether the location is the UK or abroad.

I didn't go abroad until September 2003. Not because I am a xenophobe, but because I couldn't afford it, and because I never really thought about going abroad. One thing which makes me laugh is when people say they are going to leave the UK and live abroad because they are sick of foreigners coming into the country.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

My ideal job

I have had various jobs in the past, before I knew I had AS, or before I received a formal diagnosis in May 2000, and none of them worked out for me, for numerous reasons. Also, in some of them, I was disinterested, so therefore, my performance wasn't as good as it could have been. I often have to be interested in something to perform well at it, or make a full effort.

I don't claim to be an intellectual genius, or have the same mental or reasoning capacity such as Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin or Bobby Fischer. I wish I did, but I think that in the world of work, with the correct support and understanding of myself, and my condition, I know that I am much more capable than, and have more to offer the workplace, than collecting glasses in nightclubs, or cleaning toilets or dishwashers out, as I did in the mid-1990's. I hated that job. I don't even like nightclubs. I never really have, and looking back, I don't know how I managed to survive and work in such an environment. I wouldn't be able to function in that kind of workplace today. I would walk out within 15 minutes. There were too many people around me. There was too much going off at once, and it was too loud. Horrible. Job from hell.

So what would be my ideal type of job or employment position? One in which I didn't have to interact, socialise or mix with too many people. One where the employers and co-workers fully know about me, my condition, and what it entails. One in which I would be allowed my own space, and one in which I am interested in what I am doing. I kept weather records in my garden between Sunday 20th July 1997 and Wednesday 31st December 2003. I would like a job at a weather station doing that, because I have a systematic mind, and I am interested in the weather. Weston Park Museum, at Sheffield, would be ideal geographically.

Other employment positions which I feel I would be suited for, are working as a museum guide, as I am interested in history and facts, supplying facts to websites or the newspapers or authors. How many times have you read a book or a newspaper, and they have got the date of an event, or someone's age, or for example, the name of a celebrity wrong? I hate it when they do that. .

When that has happened, I have thought to myself, "Hang on a minute, if they can't get that basic fact right, what else have they got wrong?", or, "Well if they can't that fact correct, why should you believe anything else they say or write?". I feel I would be suited for researching facts online or in newspapers, or designing websites, as I have my own website, or writing, as I feel I am reasonably articulate in writing, more than in speech. This is because I can alter what I write. I am also allowed to be more deliberate in my methods of communication.

Friday, 14 August 2009

If anything is evil, it is your views....

On the evening of Thursday 13th August, I read in a newspaper that Sarah Palin, the former US Governor of Alaska, who stood for vice-president last year with John McCain, (McCain and Palin were defeated by Barrack Obama), has called the National Health Service in the UK, "Downright Evil".

If anything is evil, it is Palin's views on healthcare. Forty million Americans are denied health care every year because they can't afford it, yet she wants this to continue. If Palin had said she was against the NHS for x reason, whilst I still would have disagreed with her, at least she would have put up an argument. However, to state opposition to the NHS on the grounds of something that it is not, smacks of both lies and desperation.

Professor Stephen Hawking, the author of "A brief history of time", and a man who I have a huge amount of respect for, in reply to Palin's remarks, said that the NHS saved his life. He could have gone private. Professor Hawking certainly could have afforded it, but I guess he has political or personal principles that made him chose not to.

I don't know what his political views are, but I agree with Professor Hawking. If the NHS didn't exist, or if I was living in the USA, when I wanted a diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome, I would have had to go private, which would have cost me a lot of money, which I didn't have at the time. I may have not been diagnosed at all if it wasn't for the NHS.

I am 100% behind Obama's effort to create an NHS style system in the US. I genuinely hope that his plans succeed. Opponents of the bill in the US, as far as I can see, have vested interests, with drug companies and money making Doctors leading the opposition. Probably, those senators and governors opposing an NHS-style system in the USA are sponsored by the drug companies, or have shares, consultancies or directorships in them.

I was referred for a diagnosis on Monday, 14th February, 2000, and diagnosed on Wednesday, 31st May, 2000, three and a half months later. That is not poor service. I was also grateful for the NHS when I was ill in January 2006, and spent ten days in hospital. I had no complaints about my care then either. I wonder what Sarah Palin would call the Nazi regime, if the NHS is evil?

Before the NHS was introduced in the late 1940's, you had to pay to see your Doctor. During the first 12 months of the NHS's existence, hundreds of people went to the dentist to have their teeth out, because they couldn't afford it before. A lot of home births occurred before the NHS, because people couldn't afford to go into hospital. My Dad was born at home before the NHS was introduced, possibly because his parents couldn't afford an hospital birth. He was a breach baby, and is lucky to have survived. During World War II, many recruiting officers were shocked to see the physical and medical states of some soldiers from the working-classes.

Another politician who loves to criticise the NHS, and who is in favour of making the UK health system like the USA's, is Daniel Hannan. Three others, Jeremy Hunt, Greg Clark and Michael Gove (Though I'd never heard of them until I saw their names in the newspaper), have called for the NHS to be dismantled as it is no longer relevant, or at least it isn't to them.

I sincerely hope that the NHS is here in 100 years time, when hopefully messrs Hannan, Hunt, Clark and Gove are footnotes in the history books, or in the anonymity they all so richly deserve to be in. I don't claim that the NHS is perfect or flawless, but it is one of the great British institutions. I just wish they would spend more money on nurses and doctors and cleaners, and less on bureaucrats.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Bring back the workhouse

I read in the newspaper the other day, that the government are considering getting rid of Attendance Allowance and DLA for the disabled. I know there is a severe recession on, and that cutbacks have to be made in public spending, but why punish the vulnerable for the bankers greed, which caused the current recession?

Every member of the House of Lords earns £174 every day that they turn up. As a result, a peer can sign in, sit there, fall asleep for two hours, wake up and walk out. If they do this five times a week, they are earning £870 a week. Nice work if you can get it. This isn't the politics of envy, but it annoys me, when such waste and extravagance goes on with public funds, at a time that the poor, disabled and vulnerable are being targeted, and under threat, and at a time when politicians of all parties are preaching to the public to make cut-backs and warning of tough times ahead.

If there is to be an House of Lords, peers shouldn't get paid anything apart from their travel and dinner costs. I would remove hereditary peers. You can't have a meritocracy when someone is sat in the House of Lords due to a peerage awarded to an ancestor 400 years ago. I just see the Lords as a decorative aspect to Parliament myself. I would also close tax loopholes for the rich, and either get rid of, or streamline the Royal Family, many of whom I see as the biggest social security scroungers going.

I accept that the DLA system needs reforming, so the disparity of income between the different levels awarded shouldn't be so great, and that the inconsistencies we so often hear about should be eliminated. For example, in October 2004, I heard about a case regarding two twins with Autism. One was awarded the higher rate of care for DLA and the other the middle! You can apply for DLA one day and get it, or apply the following day and be rejected. Some of the criteria for applying should be altered. I personally don't agree with Heroin addicts claiming it, as I feel that is an insult to people who are ill or disabled through no fault of their own. They have a choice. No-one chooses to be Autistic, or to have Cerebral Palsy, or to have Down's Syndrome.

However, DLA and AA should be retained. It was introduced to integrate the disabled into society. Withdraw it, and you will segregate them even more. For me, it is about choice, freedom and independence. The disabled should make their own decisions about how they spend their DLA, not some faceless social services person deciding for them. If MP's believe they are forced to live on rations, then they could stop being an MP.

I have a suspicion that some MP's would bring the workhouse back if they could get away with it, for the long-term unemployed and disabled. That is a good idea, if we put those MP's who want it back, in the workhouse!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

An increase in the drinking age won't achieve anything

They are strongly considering about putting the drinking age up to 21 in the UK. I don't think binge drinking is any worse now than what it was 20 years ago. There were people throwing up and getting in punch ups through booze then. I don't think generally society is more violent than 20 years ago. There was violence then. In life, you always get a minority of idiots and arseholes who spoilt it for the decent majority. The difference is that we have a mass media that blows everything out of proportion now, as opposed to then.

In 1989 we didn't have Sky TV, the Internet or as much sensationalism. Of course there has always been sensationalism, but it has got worse in the last decade. A remark any figure in the public eye makes nowadays in pounced upon, over-analyzed and sensationalized. There is definitely overkill in the media.

If the legal boozing age is increased to 21, people aged 18 to 20 will find other ways to get hold of booze so they can get smashed out of their skulls. The way the media talk, you would think that 20 years ago, the sun shone every day, the sky was blue, everyone had plenty of money, no-one was unemployed, the busses and trains ran on time, there were no murders, no crimes. Of course that is bollocks.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

The case of Gary McKinnon

The case of Gary McKinnon, the 43-year-old man with Asperger's Syndrome, who faces deportation to the USA for allegedly hacking into 97 United States military computers, including those owned by NASA, the USA Army, USA Navy, Department of Defense and the USA Air Force in 2001 and 2002, featured very strongly in the news last week.

The US authorities claim McKinnon deleted critical files from operating systems, which shut down the US Army's Military District of Washington network of 2,000 computers for 24 hours, as well as deleting USA Navy Weapons logs, rendering a naval base's network of 300 computers inoperable.

If extradited to the USA and found guilty, McKinnon faces up to 60 years in jail.

I think that McKinnon's condition, Asperger's Syndrome, should be taken into account regarding his actions. What was the state of his mind at the time? Even having AS however, is not to fully excuse him. McKinnon MUST be tried for these very serious offences, but that trial must take place in the UK. If he is convicted, he must be detained in the UK. Although McKinnon's crimes were committed against the USA, he was based in the UK when he carried them out.

If McKinnon had raped or murdered an American woman in London, would he deported and tried in New York?. If McKinnon had done the same to a British woman in San Francisco, would he be tried for it at the Old Bailey?

McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, is naturally against the extradition, and has appealed to President Obama to halt it. I don't know how old his mother is. Say if Mrs Sharp is 66 years old at the present, and her son, if convicted, receives a 60-year sentence in the States, that would make Mrs Sharp 126 years old when he is released!, so there is a very strong chance she would rarely see him again, or if do so on a regular basis, she would at least have to relocate to the USA. If McKinnon is tried and convicted in the UK, and jailed here, at least Mrs Sharp would be able to visit him in prison, and therefore would not have to relocate.